Among the activities of remembrance for the second anniversary of the physical disappearance of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, could not miss the meeting of sporting glory, historians and officials of the Directorate of Sports in the stadium Palmar de Junco, Matanzas.
With the screening of the documentary Pasión por el Deporte, by Cuban Television, with an edition by Yosvany Luis, in which he presents Fidel in different baseball clashes and other sporting events since 1959, together with state leaders and players, the tribute began the place dedicated to his memory and that is part of the baseball Hall of Fame of the province.
The engineer Elena González, director of the Project Palmar de Junco, explained that on this significant date it was necessary to meet in this room full of memories of Fidel, as a strategist of revolutionary sports and especially baseball.
“The example of our undefeated Commander, added Elena, commits us every day to work with more desire in our facility that holds the status of National Monument and where its Hall of Immortals welcomes prominent figures linked to this sport since the nineteenth century, when many of those players fought for the freedom of Cuba, going through the republican stage to this day. ”
In animated talk players of the likes of Felix Isasi, Evelio Hernandez and Jose Estrada told anecdotes of their encounters with the Leader of the Revolution and their presence in the training of Cuban teams to international events, while the historians Alfredo Santana and Reynaldo González Villalonga emphasized Fidel’s commitment to rebuild the Palmar de Junco stadium, when he spoke to the people of Matanzas on January 7, 1959, when the Caravan of the Liberty arrived in this city.
That day, a claim of the people gathered in the Libertad Park, to fix Palmar de Junco stadium, the Commander in Chief said that “it was embarrassing that a city with so much history did not have its sports field in good condition.”
Although some time had to wait due to legal procedures to purchase the stadium to which it appeared as its owner, Mrs. Matilde Moenk, Fidel was aware of the details, as it appears in the book Origins of Cuban Baseball: El Palmar de Junco , of the lawyer Alfredo Santana.
In a meeting held in October in the Matanzas delegation of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform, INRA, took advantage of the presence of several leaders of the province and spoke with the delegate of Public Works at that time and the president of the local Heritage for trace the strategy of purchase and arrangement of the installation.
By coincidence, on November 25th , but in 1959, the acquisition of the stadium took place by the municipal government and on December 4 Fidel returned to Matanzas in work management, among which was the check-up and start of the constructive work in the Palmar de Junco.
A day later, Commander Universo Sánchez, leading a brigade composed of 80 soldiers of the Rebel Army, undertook the task of remodeling and on February 6, 1960 they reopened the stadium with a game of the Cuban Professional League between Almendares and Cienfuegos.
They are historical facts of the footprint of Fidel in Palmar de Junco, few divulged, that could not be missing in this tribute to the most inspiring Cuban sport, on the second anniversary of his physical disappearance.
The meeting ended with the words of Lic. José Luis Villalonga, Provincial Deputy Director of Sports, who expressed the satisfaction of having this year in Matanzas and in a place like El Palmar, with a room dedicated to the Leader of the Revolution in which today we have heard very important things from him, in the voices of our athletes and historians.
“Here new generations of students and athletes, Villalonga said, may have a place to meet to discuss and learn every day of the work of Fidel.”